INSHORE - The inshore fishing has been good with plenty of big gator trout being reported in the 7 to 9 pound range. Most of the trout have been caught on live baits like a shrimp, white bait or a pigfish or for the artificial it was a D.O.A. shrimp. Try fishing in 3 to 5 feet of water around Herman's Bay area. Last Thursday we did have a 10.2 pounder come into the docks. There has also been a lot of schoolie size trout in the 1 to 2 pound range and they have been all over the flats and taking live shrimp. The best time has been just at daylight until about 8 am and then again just before duck. The snapper bite along the channel edges has also been very good with snapper to 3 pounds and they have been taking live shrimp or white baits. There has been a lot of small muttons in that same area but they have been between 12 to 15 inches -- just too small to keep. Look around the Round Island, Queen's Cove area for the redfish. The bite has been on the start of the out going tide. There has been plenty of catch and release snook. They have been up on the flats and all the way out to the mouth of the Ft. Pierce Inlet.
OFFSHORE - The best action this past week has been from the kingfish in 30 to 80 feet of water and they have been feeding on live baits. Most of the fish have been 12 to 29 pounds. Look for the big tarpon along the beaches as well as at the mouth of the Ft. Pierce Inlet at first light. The dolphin bite has slowed down but on Thursday we had a couple of boats come in with 4 or 5 dolphin per boat. Most of the fish were 6 to 14 pounds. The bottom fishing for snapper, grouper and seabass over the reefs and wrecks good. The fish have been taking both live and cut baits. The best reports are coming from the North. I am still getting reports of sailfish in 100 feet of water to the south of the Ft. Pierce Inlet. We did have some nice cobia in the 20 to 40 pound range come into the docks this week. They have been popping up over the reefs in 60 to 90 feet of water. And, last but not least -- Mini Lobster Season seemed to be a big success with plenty of lobster coming into the docks. The diver's did report that they saw hundreds of small lobster and that the water was not that clear.
BRAGGING BOARD - Last Thursday Randall Wilkerson caught a 10.2 pound gator trout while fishing to the north in the river. He was in 2 feet of water and using a pilchard. On Saturday Tony Coates of the W.P.B.F.C. caught and released a 3 pound bone fish. He was fishing to the south in the river between the 189 and 190 markers and on the west side. The fish took a live shrimp and it was mid afternoon when he caught it. Also on Saturday I had the father and son team of Ken & Drew Fritz on my boat. They had a great day with five trout from 4 to 7 pounds and four snook from 9 to 13 pounds. We were using live shrimp for bait. From Wednesday to Sunday we had the members of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club staying at Dockside. They had numerous catches.
Report below by Tom Tywford
Approximately 29 boats took part in the West Palm Beach Fishing Club's first ever outing to Ft. Pierce July 19 - 22, 2007. The West Palm club stayed at the wonderful Dockside Inn and judging by some of the great catches posted during their visit there were plenty of happy anglers. On the very first day of the trip the boat 'Renovator', a 31' Blackfin, captained by Richard Hanna and crewed by son Daniel and family friend Ed Balboni earned a spot on the scoreboard by catching an offshore slam, king - dolphin - wahoo, on their cruise up from West Palm. Balboni's 32 wahoo was the heaviest fish of their impressive slam. 'Tide Machine' captained by Chris Hodge didn't do too shabby either on the troll north from West Palm to Ft. Pierce. Angler John Kushay, a new West Palm Beach Fishing Club member, landed a 35 pound
yellowfin tuna that would be the outing's most outstanding catch offshore. The boat also had a blue marlin encounter during their trip north as well. On Friday and Saturday of the outing a handful of boats continued to venture offshore. WPB fishing club Director Tom Twyford boated the largest snapper of the trip, a 12.5 pound genuine red snapper, his largest ever, in 75 feet of water southeast of the Ft. Pierce Inlet. He and Joella Callaway released several other short reds and had a mixed bag of sea bass, kings and one dolphin. The 'Renovator' crew had a blue marlin in their spread Friday afternoon and caught plenty of sea bass, kings and bonitos during their visit. The 'Envy', a beautiful 29' Egret, owned by Ronnie & Peggy Appleton posted kings, sea bass, bonito and jumped off a sailfish on Saturday. The offshore boats had no trouble finding live sardines for live bait at the 10A and 12A sea buoys during the trip. Rick Hess and his wife fished live
sardines at the power plant boils on Saturday seeing plenty of tarpon and snook. Rick's wife caught and released a dandy snook that measured around 36 inches, her first ever big snook.
While the weather was perfect for offshore fishing throughout the trip, the bulk of the boats from the West Palm club stayed inshore catching Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, snook, trout, reds and a few flounder. Club member Johannes Csonka posted the most snook releases of the outing, he had 14 on Friday and 19 on Saturday up to 8.5 pounds. Johannes also had a 5.5 pound redfish he fooled using a D.O.A. Cal lure. He also caught, weighed and released an impressive 5 pound ladyfish. Craig Korczynski of Wellington landed a beautiful 6.5 pound trout on 4 pound test during the outing. Shane Ernst and his best gal JoJo landed an inshore slam on Saturday posting snook, trout and reds. Shane's big red weighed 5 pounds and was caught on plug tackle. Members Les Bowe and Mike Thomas had a ball bailing big ladyfish on light tackle during the trip. The anglers also posted plenty of 2 to 3 pound trout and Les landed a 6 pound tarpon he bested on 4 lb. test line. Buddy Tuppen and Barry O'Neill caught a variety of fish inshore highlighted by Buddy's nice 22 inch redfish. Frank Cecila caught a beautiful 4.5 pound trout on Saturday. Tony Coates caught and released one of the more unusual fish of the outing, a 3 pound bonefish that ate a live shrimp south of the south bridge on the west side of the ICW. Coates also posted trout and ladyfish releases. Junior anglers Tommy and Eddie Twyford fished with Mark Nichols of D.O.A. Lures on Thursday catching a variety of trout including a 6 pounder Eddie fooled using a D.O.A. glitter shrimp. The two boys employed Mark's D.O.A. techniques the following two days with tremendous results. Tommy Twyford caught, weighed and released his two best ever trout on D.O.A. shrimp that tipped the scales at 9 pounds each and measured 31 inches. One of the gators was landed on 4 pound test line and earned the best catch on D.O.A. Lure award, of course this did not go over very well with his younger brother Eddie who had posted the 6 pounder on a D.O.A. shrimp two days before! Nelson Schad fished with outing coordinator Barry Brimacomb during the trip. They deft angling duo landed a variety of snook and trout. Schad earned the best catch on fly award with a 3 pound bluefish release. He also was the reluctant recipient of the Hard Luck award for jumping in the water to retrieve a $15 pair of pliers forgetting that he had his $200 cell phone clipped to his belt!